I was asked to mediate for a team of professionals with huge, clashing egos.
They’d already been through various tests and workshops to address their team dysfunction. But whenever the team suggested why they thought things were happening, the leader would reinterpret through her lens. Even as I shared my conclusions the leader wanted to railroad me onto her pre-existing agenda.
To get her bonus, she needed a high score on collaboration – instead of helping the team understand their weaknesses and turn them to strengths, her approach was to divide and conquer – to simply try and get each to confess their weakness, then set herself apart from the problem.
It’s not the first time I’ve seen a middle-management team being given “training” to try and cover up the failings of senior management.
The real successful mediation would have needed a discussion between her and her boss, about how she was being incentivised to sweep and bully the problem under the carpet. Rather than actually engage with the team to find a way to work together.
Sometimes – when you’re looking for the elephant in the room, it’s actually sat in the corner office all along.
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